When people think of volunteering they think of working at a soup kitchen or cleaning up trash from local parks are roads. However there are a group of people in the middle of the Ukrainian crisis that are risking their lives by volunteering to drive children and mothers away from the conflict zone and to safer areas. Why is this trip so dangerous? Aside from the obvious risks posed by nervous gunmen and falling munitions, the talked-about safe corridor for civilians to escape hasn’t actually happened due to disagreements between the Ukrainian government (who proposed the corridor) and pro-Russian militias (who require Russian troops to oversee the corridor to make sure the government won’t use it to attack).

The all-volunteer force that has taken it upon themselves to drive these minivans packed full of desperate children and mothers come from all walks of life and refuse to take political sides when it comes to helping people. One organizer and driver used to sell shoes in the local market while another ran a classic car club. However once they saw the chaos reigning and how stressed and afraid the people in the besieged cities were they all joined together to make a difference. With stories abound of vans being accidentally destroyed as well as one of pro-Russian militants kidnapping a van and sending it to Russia instead of it’s original location in Ukraine, these volunteer drivers literally risk life and limb so that they can help those in the most need escape to somewhere peaceful. The volunteers refuse to allow men into the vans (unless they’re driving) so that they can avoid accusations of ferrying combatants to different locations.

If you’d like to read more about these brave men and women risking death to save others, the link is attached below: